ND-3500AG only burning at 1.5X...infomation overload, please help

Just got my NEC ND-3500AG (silver) from Newegg, which replaced a LiteOn 811S that died prematurely (only 9 mos old). Installed fine, flashed to the latest fw v2.18, seemed fine at first (best I can remember it was burning fast, it’s all a fog now from these probs), but it’s now is taking ridiculously long to rip/burn (approx. 40-50 mins to burn ANY DVD+R, regardless of the app, and just as long if not longer to rip.) After double-checking the NEC website, I notice that a) the “silver” model isn’t even listed…anywhere, and b) the fw I flashed was for the 3500A, not the 3500AG (does that make a diff?) I also remember when I flashed, that the NEC flasher showed the fw version as 2.18, but also prompted me to update to the 2.18 version I dl’d from NEC, there another problem there? (no, it didn’t state that the versions were the same)

I’m using these apps:
Nero v6.6.0.5; DVD Decrypter v3.5.2.0; DVD Shrink v3.2; Alcohol 120% v1.5.7.

and this media…
Imation 8X RICHOJPN02 discs. Here’s the results from DVD Identifier…

Unique Disc Identifier : [DVD+R:RICOHJPN-R02-003]

Disc & Book Type : [DVD+R] - [Not Available]
Manufacturer Name : [Ricoh Co. Ltd.]
Manufacturer ID : [RICOHJPN]
Media Type ID : [R02]
Product Revision : [003]
Blank Disc Capacity : [2,295,104 Sectors = 4,482.6MB = 4.38GB (4.70GB)]
Recording Speeds : [1x , 2.4x , 4x , 6x-8x]

[ DVD Identifier - http://DVD.Identifier.CDfreaks.com ]

See, even this reports that the media is capable of up to 8X, and I could live with that, but 1.5X? NO WAY!

System info is…
WinXP Pro w/SP2
AMD Athlon XP2200 w/784MB PC2700
MSI K7N2 mb
Seagate ST3120026A 120GB hd (master)
WD WD800JB 80GB hd (slave)
NEC ND-3500AG DVD+RW (master)
LiteOn LTR 48125W CD+RW (slave)
MSI GeForce4 Ti4200 128MB 8XAGP

I’ve verified that DMA is enabled on all drives within Windows and BIOS. Checked the media against NEC’s Media List. On that it’s listed as only 2.5X, but I can’t even get that much out of it! Nice that these burned just fine on my unmodded 811S until the day it died.

I would prefer to keep this drive but between the slow record speeds and the lack of support from NEC in the US, I’m seriously considering sending it back. I’ve even gone ahead and ordered a LiteOn SOHW-1633S as a backup. I’m now considering flashing to a hacked fw update, but find this troubling as it would void the warranty.

I’ve read so much over the last few days trying to find a solution, it’s all turned my brain to mush trying to keep it straight. So my questions to the “powers that be” are as follows…

  1. What could be causing the painfully slow read/record speeds?
  2. Is this drive possibly defective (or is it just me that’s defective)?
  3. If I flash to a hacked fw to improve speeds, is it possible to flash back to the original v2.18 should it not work and I need to return the unit (would Newegg even check fw version)? If so, how? (please staying in Win, I suk at DOS) and which hacked fw should I try to accomodate this media (have a ton left to go through before I can even think of trying a diff kind)?
  4. IF I DO have to try other media, what brands should I look for? (please only local US retail, i.e. Walmart, Circuit City, OfficeMax, Office Depot, Target, Kmart, don’t want to get into waiting on deliveries of DVD+R’s in the mail too)

Much thanks and groveling from this NEC noob to any and all that can advise.

The NEC rip speed is locked to about 2X from the factory. Use this link to flash to version 218btrpc1.rar. You should also remove the secondary IDE channel from windows and reboot. Windows will reload the driver. Verify that both master and slave are running in DMA mode. Confirm again in BIOS.

Search the net for NECWinFlash.exe. This program will let you backup the old firmware before flashing. You should be able to restore FW without problem.

Finally, give AnyDVD and CloneDVD a try. I don’t believe the problem is with your DVD media. Best Buy currently has a sale on 100 pack of Fuji Taiyo Yuden DVD+R discs for $40 (look for Made in Japan on the case and disc). These 8X discs should burn at 12X and 16X.



The average rip time of my NEC 3500A can range from 2.5X to 6.1X, depending on the DVD title and the quality of the DVD disc (drive may have to slow down to read a damaged disc). Expect a consistent 14 min burn time at 4X with a single layer 4.7 GB DVD+R disc. 11 min @ 8X.

If it’s taking 50 min to burn, then you’re running at 1X speed, or slower.

nec 3500 will reach 7x for dl dvd-video with riplock removed.

furballi…just wanted to say a quick THANK YOU! :bigsmile: THANK YOU! :bigsmile: THANK YOU! :bow: The 218btrpc1 fw and the IDE trick did the job. I’m now getting 12X write speeds with the media I listed above, and rip speeds under 15 mins. Now I can begin to see why everyone raves on the 3500. Now, gotta go pull out the old CD+RW to make room for the 1633S that’ll be delivered today (may as well keep it and have 2 DVD+RW’s, hehe)!


glad you have your problem sorted. i agree i love this drive aswell :smiley:

Glad 2 help.

I´ve so new to flahsing with firmware and have read and read through post to figure out what I´m missing?
I´ve flashed my NEC 3500 AG with 218btrpc1.rar using Binflash but every time I reboot the Nero infotool sais it´s firmware 1.0. I read about the DMA but strangly there is no DMA mode in my bios (shuttle SN45G mobo FN45, Nvidia nFOrce IDE controller on that) and I´m wondering if anybody else with a shuttle recognise this problem. Having a couple of other computers and on them there´s no problem finding the DMA in bios or in the device manager (SP2).
Any help apriciated.

Oh I got it! Hade to do a roll back to micorsofts controller (had Nvidias installed) nero infotool shows firmware 2.18 but when inserting my CD or DVD media it still shows only 2x in write speed options. What am I missing shouldn´t the write speed options be “open” now the 2.18 is in place?

Good fix! Mine burned at 16X from the factory with 2.16. Read is another story. I am using a 2510 for a reader at this time. I guess it is time to see how fast my 2.18FW is reading. You guys have my curiosity up.

Ok! With 2.18 and Shrink+Nero! 19 mins to analyze, 20 mins to encode, 6 mins to burn for “Pay It Forward” DVD backup on a 3500.

So will Rip lock removed improve these times?

yes and if you use dvd decripter to rip the film to hard drive first it will put less wear on you reader.